OGDEN, Utah – Fans of detective Sam Kincaid will have to wait to read about his next investigation.
That's because Michael Norman, emeritus professor of criminal justice at Weber State University, has been working on and recently released a mystery novel with a new cast of characters.
"On Deadly Ground," which hit store shelves March 1, is the story of a small Utah town divided by the politics of land management. The story follows the murder investigation by Bureau of Land Management ranger J.D. Books into the death of an environmental activist in southern Utah who took on powerful rivals. Unforeseen developments await Books at every turn as he tries to discover the murderer.
Norman got the idea for the book after visiting with a former student, Jeff Long, who became a law enforcement ranger for the BLM. Long invited Norman to visit him in southern Utah, where Norman had the opportunity to go on patrol with his former student.
"Going in, I knew absolutely nothing about BLM law enforcement responsibilities," Norman said. "Over the next three days, Jeff guided me through some of the most stunning high-desert landscapes anywhere on the face of the earth."
Norman believes the topic is especially relevant in the western United States where the federal government owns a large portion of the land.
"A well-crafted plot with plenty of action, a likeable hero with a checkered past, and a magnificent western setting make this one a winner," writes Publisher's Weekly in a recent review of the book.
"On Deadly Ground" is Norman's third novel. It follows "Silent Witness" and "The Commission," one of Publishers Weekly's Best 100 Books of 2007. All of his novels are set in Utah.
Readers can find "On Deadly Ground" on sale at the WSU Bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon.com, as well as local independent bookstores.
Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.